Why you should stop high protein drinks. Do you subscribe to the gym and want to gain muscle? You may be tempted by drinks and high-protein bars, star products of influencers on social networks . Be careful, because a new study, published in the journal Nature Metabolism , shows what the negative side effects may be.
These dietary supplements are composed of amino acids, the building blocks of proteins. According to the results of the study, excessive consumption of branched-chain amino acids could lead to unwanted weight gain, affect mood and even premature death.
You have to balance the amino acid levels
In nutrition, the golden rule is variation and moderation. The authors of the study believe that their work emphasizes the importance of also mixing the sources of proteins, in order to obtain a diversity of amino acids. Branched-chain amino acids are found in red meat and dairy products, as well as in poultry, fish and eggs. Vegetarians can also benefit by eating beans, lentils, nuts and soy.
“Protein-rich and low-carbohydrate diets have been shown to be beneficial for reproductive function, but they have had adverse health effects at the end of life and have also led to reduced life time”, explains Dr. Samantha Solon-Biet, researcher at the University of Sidney, Australia, and author of the study.
To achieve these results, the research team fed groups of mice with diets containing different amounts of branched-chain amino acts: twice the average intake, the average intake, half the average or one fifth of the average intake. The result was clear: mice that consumed twice as many branched chain amino acids all became obese and had a shorter life span.
Obese mice, with a shorter life
Even though this test involves mice, it clearly shows that over-consumption of branched-chain amino acids can lead to the deletion of other essential amino acids, such as tryptophan. Tryptophan deficiency could lead to a range of mood , and general health issues. “Tryptophan is the only precursor of the serotonin hormone, often referred to as ‘the chemical substance of happiness’ for its beneficial effects on mood and its role in sleep, but serotonin does more than that, and that’s where that lies the problem, “says Professor Stephen Simpson, co-author of the study.
After that, the level of serotonin dropped in the brain, increasing the appetite sensation. And excessive consumption of branched chain amino acids resulted in overfeeding in the mice. They became “extremely obese” and had a shorter life span.